May 06, 2017

Customs officials who busted the vehicle theft, punished Featured

Customs officials who busted the  racket where the importers were engaged in violating environmental laws in the importation of vehicles and importing used parts to assemble vehicles, failing to pay due taxes have been penalised where one of them have been sent on compulsory leave and the other transferred.

Of the two, Assistant Customs Superintendent, General Secretary of Sri Lanka Independent Government Trade Union Organisations - Sri Lanka Customs W. M.R.P. Wijekoon has been sent on compulsory leave and the letter has been signed by Customs Director General Chulananda Perera.

According to his letter of discharge it states that Wijekoon had used the name of Sri Lanka Independent Government Trade Union Organisations and engaged in wrong deeds and according to the Establishment Code, he has been sent on compulsory leave while investigations into his activities have been initiated.  

The other officer, Customs Superintendent B. Gnanaraj has been transferred to the Central Investigations unit.

Opposition by the Finance Ministry:

The upper management of the Customs Department as well as the Finance Ministry were opposed to the investigations regarding the vehicle scam and by the actions taken against the two officers involved in uncovering this scam, the investigations are bound to end abruptly, according to Customs sources.

The Sri Lanka Independent Government Trade Union Organisation had notified the Auditor General, Attorney General and higher officials of the vehicle scam and there was Cabinet opposition to the government concessions being accorded to these fraudsters.

Meanwhile, when asked about the compulsory leave issue according to the establishment code, President of the Government Nurses Union, Saman Rathnapriya stated that there is absolutely no provision in the Establishment Code to send an employee on compulsory leave for engaging in trade union activity. He pointed out that this is a clear attempt to suppress trade union activity and should be reported to the International Labour Conference.